MLBI highlighted the Dream BIG marketing campaign in Japan this past season in an extensive advertisement program on one of Japan Railway's most popular train lines, the Yamanote line, for two weeks in August 2007. With stops in many of Tokyo's most popular areas, the Yamanote line averages nearly 4.35 million riders each day. Ten train cars were decorated with Dream BIG-themed advertising, licensed consumer product photos and retail information for more than 60 Major League Baseball partners. Each car was also equipped with a TV screen that was stationed above doors where riders were able to watch MLB game footage. MLB distributed limited edition postcards at participating
retain locations if they mentioned the Dream BIG train.
Since Masanori Murakami -- the first Japanese player to break into MLB -- made his debut for the San Francisco Giants in 1964, 37 of his countrymen have competed for MLB clubs. The 2008 MLB season promises to include a record number of Japanese players on MLB rosters, with 16 currently on the 40-man rosters of 13 MLB clubs (five will be making their debut).
Over the past 20 years, MLB has staged more than 90 All-Star, regular-season, Spring Training and
Opening Day games throughout Japan.
The popularity of Major League Baseball continued to thrive under the fourth year of MLB International's
exclusive deal with Japanese rightsholder Dentsu, Inc. Coverage of MLB games under the long-term, six-year
agreement included daily coverage of MLB games collectively on over-the-air Japanese networks Fuji, NHK and TBS. In addition, MLB games were made available via satellite television channels NHK BS and Sky Perfect TV! each week. MLB games were also carried on JOLF radio as part of the agreement.
MLB's virtual signage partners from Japan remained active in 2007. Electronically inserting advertising
behind home plate on telecasts of the All-Star Game, American League Championship Series, World
Series and select regular-season matchups, MLB once again provided a unique advertising opportunity
to its Japanese partners. Among the companies advertising via virtual signage this year was Jaccs,
Konami, Netz-Automobile Dealership, KAO-Healthy Water, FEPC (Federation of Electric Power Companies
of Japan) and MasterCard.
The Major League Baseball Festival returned to Tokyo in April 2007 and was attended by more than
20,000 fans over its two day tour. Coordinated by MLB's Japanese broadcast partner Nippon Hoso
Kyokai (NHK), the Tokyo Festival featured a special open studio broadcast on the big screen of Ichiro
Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners against the Cleveland Indians. is a mobile, interactive fan experience.
Renovated in 2004, the Festival provides local baseball fans with a genuine MLB experience that includes
over 10 different attractions, including multiple batting cages and pitching tunnels, a baseball mini-field
and official store and an interactive zone including Sony Playstation2 consoles.